‘It’s not that big a problem – it’s not like you die from it’
‘You have to be really ill to see a doctor’
That is how many men with urinary incontinence describe their condition. However, if you ask a few more questions, most people with urinary incontinence tell about psychological, practical, sexual and social problems that reduce their life quality.
The psychological nuisances that follow urinary incontinence can be the fear for it being discovered, fear of smelling and the lack of hope of improvement. Almost 3 out of 4 with urinary incontinence experience psychological nuisances.
The practical nuisances consist of extra washing of clothes, bed linen and extra expenses for aid like diapers and sanitary towels.
There are also several problems socially. Many isolate themselves. You avoid shopping, sports, visiting family and friends and avoid travelling.
Here are some typical descriptions from patients with urinary incontinence:
‘It’s annoying. It excludes some things. For example, a trip to the cinema – how long is the film? – Can I reach the toilet in time? – Everything has to be calculated from whether you can reach the toilet.’
‘Last Saturday I was with my grandchildren in the swimming bath and 4 times during that hour I had to leave the water to go out to pee. It is not just 2 drops but normal urination every time.’
‘I always wonder where the toilet is. The first thing I do when I arrive at a new place is to find the toilet – just to know. I am beginning to think it is psychological.’
As mentioned before, the most frequent cause of urinary incontinence with men is an enlargement of the prostate.
The enlargement of the prostate can be benign or malignant (cancer). In far most case it is luckily benign, but cancer in the prostate is still the third most common type of cancer with men. Your own doctor can by help of different examinations determine whether the enlargement of the prostate is benign or malignant.